Originally Posted by n5160u
I would not blame Mercedes for being very reluctant to part with any information regarding your incident given the fact that the hired guns you have brought in to represent you are clearly going to ask for a much bigger settlement than the cost of replacing the vehicle and repairs to your property.
Expert: Criminal Litigation Experts, Insurance Claims Experts in Insurance Claims and Criminal Litigation.
I still want to know why you think you had no culpable part in the incident. I consider it quite reckless to leave a vehicle running unattended and in gear. The fact that you and the tele-aid operator could not get the doors to unlock clearly indicates the vehicle systems were aware the vehicle had wheels moving at speed and were overriding the attempts to open the doors for that reason. Putting the transmission in "Park" is a mechanical action that cannot be undone by any of the vehicle electronics because you have to move the shift lever past a mechanical gate by pushing the lever to one side in order to select another gear setting and your car like every newer model also requires you to have the service brakes firmly applied to release an electrical interlock that also blocks movement of the gear selector. The vehicle report says the ISP reported car was shifted to "N" at a speed greater than 5KPH and that is not "P for Park". I also am not aware of the vehicle using GPS data to determine speed for the purposes of input to the vehicle drivers aid systems such as ESP, ASR, ABS, or BAS. Those functions are done by angle and rate sensing gyros and the individual ABS wheel speed sensors. Since GPS cannot be relied on to be functional 24/7 due to any number of known factors such as having GPS signal reception blocked by being in an underground area or garage, blocked by tall buildings or government induced scrambling of GPS signals, no system should ever be designed to solely depend on GPS as a primary source of safety related data. I for one would be very surprised to find that Mercedes uses GPS data as a data source for anything other than navigation and tele-aid position reports. If in fact the GPS signals are only used for position reports like I suspect they are, the comments made in the forensics report on how the erroneous GPS data contributed to failure of the drivers aid systems to correct for the spinning wheel would call into question the validity of the entire report since it would be expected that your forensics expert should be fully informed as to how the systems are supposed to function properly before any failure mode can postulated.
I would expect that any forensics report contracted by your legal representatives will favor your position so I would really be interested in what the other parties involved in this affair will have to say to back up their position. Please don't take any of my remarks here as a personal attack. They are simply questions I would need to have settled for my own satisfaction were I to serve on a jury involved in what is going to be a very interesting piece of litigation.
i can say for a fact that the assertiion made in the forensic report about the GPS signal being used for slip control is not correct. GPS is routed to the command navigation and to telaid only. telaid does not broadcast the GPS signal across any of the CANBUS networks therfore none of the other systems in the vehicle receive the data.
secondly the various errors that are listed in the forensic report are far more consistant with all of the damage caused by the tire explosion rather than any problems leading up to it. of course we cannot say for sure because the events that are listed in the report are not time stamped, nor do we have all of the data. A *proper* forensic report will have all of the data listed and we know from the examiner's statement that there are 13 pages of material all of which should be appended to the report. remember that a forensic report is supposed to be impartial, simply stating in detail what happened and any omission of data makes that impartiality suspect. additionally, for the examiner to indicate that the vehicle systems were flawed needs far more than observation of diagnostic data. the examiner needs to prove it based on known operating states of the vehicle systems which is something far beyond the scope of a 6 page report; typical vehicle systems forensic reports run hundreds of pages and cost (sometimes) in the hundreds of thousands to prepare, involving taking known properly functioning vehicles and running all sorts of tests to repeat the conditions as they occured.
finally, notwithstanding the fact that the forensic report is suspect, the biggest factor that would be legally challenged is the fact that the the explosion is asserted to have been caused by the driver revving the engine up enough to cause a normal equivalent speed of 50 mph while stuck. if there are men on the jury ( and there always are) they are not going to be very forgiving about the fact that the driver was doing something that pretty much everyone is told not to do when your stuck.
anyway, sorry to be so critical of the report. i dont wish this sort of calamity on anyone and it sucks to have to deal with something like that but the truth of the matter is that if that forensic report actually gets into court, MB is going to have a field day tearing it to bits. add to that the fact that they have some of the best engineers in the world who also regularly testify as legal experts and that they will budget $100K+ of legal expenses without blinking in eye (welcome to corporate litigation) and you might want to reconsider your legal strategy.